To Kill a Mockingbird

Friday Update

English I Honors students continued working on their very close reading and diagramming of the case against Tom Robinson.

English 8 students completed their normal Friday inference and article of the week work.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete the diagramming of Mayella Ewell’s testimony;
    • read chapter 19, Tom’s testimony.

English I Honors students worked on their diagrams of the testimony within the case against Tom Robinson. The first day’s work is available here at the Moodle site for students who were absent.

English 8 students worked on the Harriet Tubman text, with fifth period students working through the material old-school style and sixth period working through the material using lit circles.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: work on article of the week as necessary.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete diagramming of chapter 17;
    • read chapter 18;
    • work on article of the week as necessary.

English I Honors continued with the lit circles for To Kill a Mockingbird, looking at two issues (whether or not Atticus made a good decision in representing Robinson considering the potential risk to his family and what the role of Calpurnia is in the novel) in groups that they then shared with partners from the other group.

English 8 students worked on lit circles. Fifth period ended their lit circle cycle, but sixth period will be continuing.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read chapter 17 (either twice or once taking very good notes).

We all had a field trip to Roper Mountain today, so most students didn’t have class. That doesn’t mean they don’t have homework, though.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read chapters 13-16 of Mockingbird.

English 8 students finished up their practice of determining the main idea of a text. English I Honors students worked on their first lit circle, debriefing in a forum afterward to make sure things improve the next time.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read chapters 5 and 6 for tomorrow;
    • begin preparing for the next lit circle (choosing the job and preparing the material).

English 8 students began a three-day whirlwind MAP preparation by filling in a topic we really hadn’t worked on to this point this year, determining the main idea of a nonfiction text.

English I students, after turning in their narratives, had their first lit circle today for Mockingbird.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: prepare your selected lit circle role for tomorrow.

English I Honors students began a short look at how to create voice in writing by examining the first few pages of To Kill a Mockingbird to look for various elements used to create voice.

English 8 students worked on Friday work (see lesson plan at right).

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read chapters one through four of Mockingbird;
    • complete the narrative as needed.

English I Honors students began To Kill a Mockingbird today, looking at the question of voice in the opening pages after completing our Socratic Seminar.

English 8 students finished up the selection they’ve been reading from Frederick Douglass’s autobiography.

Homework
Trial Ideas and a Ballad

19
days left

English I Honors had a real treat: Jim Bannister, a local attorney with significant criminal defense experience, came to lead the classes through a truly eye-opening re-examination of Atticus Finch’s famed defense of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird. Don’t want to give anything away as I hope to do this again next year, but I don’t think anyone in the room left viewing the case the same way.

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English 8 students continued working on their STEAM unit connecting a novel to historical events. We’ll be finishing it up next week, and English I students will join in shortly afterward.

Conspiracy and Ballads

20
days left

English 8 students continued with the ballad work, which will culminate in a re-connection to The Glory Field.

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English I Honors students finished up the conspiracy between Heck Tate and Atticus.

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Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete the practice test on Moodle.

English I students went over the great cover-up in Mockingbird, teasing out the actual story, what Atticus thinks happened, and what Heck Tate is going to say happened.

English 8 students went over the ballad from yesterday in order to get ready for the ballad we will be applying to the Glory Field project we’ll be working on next week.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: continue working on the article of the week.
  • English 8 Studies: continue working on the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on the article of the week;
    • complete the practice test for the EOC, available here.

English I Honors classes are finishing up Mockingbird and as such, discussed the titular mockingbird today.

English 8 students began the final STEAM project, combining a bit of most every core class into a final project that we’ll be completing later this week and early next week.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: continue working on the article of the week.
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • continue working on the article of the week;
    • continue working on the one-pager, due Wednesday.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on the article of the week;
    • continue working on the one-pager, due Wednesday;
    • finish Mockingbird by tomorrow;
    • complete one of the three practice texts for the EOC by tomorrow.
Final Pre-Test Day

English 8 students had a final day of practice for the SC Ready test. We’ve now done all the practice tests, and everyone is ready for a great couple of days of testing.

English I Honors students continued yesterday’s work

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by working more deeply into the text, looking at J. Grimes Everett’s character.

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We’ll finish up the rest of the text through the rest of this week.

English I Honors students began examining the most multi-layered chapter in To Kill a Mockingbird. Students worked in their lit circles to answer given discussion questions:

Entry-Level Questions
  1. Who are the Mrunas? How does Mrs. Merriweather describe them? Mark this on your text.
  2. What is J. Grimes Everett doing with the Mrunas? What is his motivation? Mark this on your text, indicating “motivation” in the margin.
  3. Why is Mrs. Merriweather helping J. Grimes Everett? (She doesn’t say so directly; you’ll have to infer.) Mark this on your text, indicating your reasoning in the margin.
  4. According to the women, how is the African American community responding to the trial of Tom Robinson? Mark this on your text.
  5. Who is Mrs. Merriweather talking about when she says, “I tell you there are some good but misguided people in this town. Good, but misguided” at the tea party? What does she think is the proper response? Mark this on your text, connecting with arrows and labels as necessary.
Advanced-Level Questions
  1. Look at the use of names. Why is “J. Grimes Everett” almost always referred to as such? What does his name make you think of? Why did Harper Lee choose his name? What other names in this scene are similar?
  2. What is the primary literary device at work in this scene? (To figure this out, combine the answers from questions one, four, and five above.) How many different types of it can you find? Mark your text as you look for examples.
  3. The best writing shows, it doesn’t tell. Chapter twenty-four is an excellent example of showing. What is it showing? How? Mark your text to indicate where and how.

Afterward, we made sure everyone was on track with the first question.

English 8 students continued with a bit more prep for the SC Ready test.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: continue working on this week’s article of the week.
  • English 8 Studies: continue working on this week’s article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • make sure you’re ready to continue discussing (and are able to back up with evidence) one through five above;
    • continue working on this week’s article of the week.